Dec 23, 2015

Random Articles Christmas Edition 2015 | RAW 151223



Another year nearly gone... so it's time to say a big thank you to all who regularly visit my blog and also wish you all a joyous Christmas. My prayer is that you remember the reason for the season. 

My first offering  is an audio interview (and transcript) which you may find interesting, it's titled Santa Claus: Harmless Fun or Christmastime Diversion?  it's from desiring god - Today we talk about a cultural debate over Santa Claus. … Of course this is the season for Santa Claus questions here at Ask Pastor John. We have over 50 questions on this topic. Listen/read more...

I'll be talking a break over the Christmas holidays but will be back in the new year. I'm hoping to catch up on some reading.  I have just finished Stephen Hunt's Anomalous Thrust, and enjoyed it immensely.

Anyway, grab a festive beverage get comfy as you look through the following articles.... It will give you something to read until you get that book you've always wanted for Christmas.  Enjoy.




Star Wars – The Force Awakens – Is it the New Lord of the Rings?


the wee flea - So after all the hype it has finally arrived.  The reviews have been excellent, the toys have been prepared, its Christmas and its time for the renewed Star Wars, The Force Awakens.   I was genuinely quite excited about going to see this – especially since it was on at our favourite cinema, the DCA, and was delighted that Mrs R. agreed to go and see it with me, although I was sure it would not be her kind of film.  Ever since Lord of the Rings becoming a Christmas tradition I have been looking for a replacement….did The Force Awakens justify my expectations? Read more...



Washington Post ends hoax-debunking column because people want to believe the hoaxes


teleread - fter running it for a year and a half, the Washington Post is winding down its “What was fake on the Internet this week” column for what has to be one of the saddest of possible reasons. When the Post started the column, writer Caitlin Dewey explains, it was intended to debunk various urban legends and pranks that were proliferating—silly stuff “like new flavors of Oreos and babies with absurd names.” But over the last 18 months, the timbre of hoaxes on the Internet has changed considerably—and the response of readers to these stories has changed, too. Read more...



Google taps Ford to make self-driving cars


technobuffalo - Google and Ford are teaming up to make self-driving cars, Yahoo Autos reports. According to several anonymous sources, Ford is set to announce the news during the Consumer Electronics Show next month. The deal is apparently non-exclusive, and Google may already be in talks with several other carmakers. The new venture would also exist separately from Ford, protecting the company from liability in the case of car crashes and other issues. Read more...


Humans Are Slamming Into Driverless Cars and Exposing a Key Flaw



bloomberg - The self-driving car, that cutting-edge creation that’s supposed to lead to a world without accidents, is achieving the exact opposite right now: The vehicles have racked up a crash rate double that of those with human drivers. The glitch? They obey the law all the time, as in, without exception. Read more...



Inside the Genius Design of the Chemex Coffeemaker


inc - It was invented more than 70 years ago, but experts continue to regard the Chemex Coffeemaker as one of the best-designed products ever made. Here's why. Read more...




My Top Books of 2015 


challies - 2015 was a pretty good year for Christian readers, and today I want to share some of my top picks from the year that is swiftly drawing to a close. Let me offer a few caveats: First, these are almost certainly not the best books of 2015 in any objective sense; rather, they are my favorites, the ones that have remained in my mind and impacted my life since I read them. Second, they are in no particular order. And finally, at the request of several readers I am posting this list before the end of the year because some people would like to refer to it as they do their Christmas shopping. Enjoy! Read more...


Small and independent publishers share the books they enjoyed and envied in 2015


the guardian - The yearly Guardian’s Hits and Misses feature makes me curious about what my friends and colleagues in the world of smaller presses might say - whether they’d feel envious about the same books, and what kind of regrets and successes they might have had in their year of publishing. I put the questions to them and their replies were fascinating, says Eloise Millar.  Read more...


Reading e-books before e-ink 


teleread - The change happened unnoticeably. Used to be, people with books were common on the Bucharest metro. Then it was the occasional mobile device, and not always in the hands of somebody young, either. Then one day I noticed that most passengers reading on the metro were doing so on e-ink devices, and those were usually a Kindle of some sort… Read more...


Is a home without books always a home without reading?


teleread - Please don’t get the wrong idea from this headline. I’m not advocating the elimination of printed books from our homes. I believe that print belongs on our shelves and probably will always be there. But I’m moved to this confrontational headline by another piece of snark that, as so often, recklessly conflates lack of print with illiteracy, and implicitly equates Kindles with Ray Bradbury’s book-burning Firemen in Fahrenheit 451. Read more...


Amazon Bottlenecks Frustrating Indie Publishers


publishers weekly - With publishers in the throes of the holiday season, where purchases can make or break the bottom line, some are experiencing critical issues with their biggest retail partner: Amazon. Supply chain hiccups have left the biggest titles from some publishers out-of-stock and unavailable for purchase at the all-important retailer. Read more...


How To Weed Your Bookshelves


book riot - I have a lot of books.  What I don’t have is a lot of shelving. This means that while I still have the compulsion (and often submit to it) to acquire new books, I don’t always have someplace to put them. This has recently gotten severely bad, and I have been trying to ease the weight on my shelves and stop making dents in my poor carpet. There are two ways to do it (and I have done both): all at once or in small bits. Read more...



Getting Up Close and Personal with an Earth-Sized Exoplanet (Kavli Hangout)


space -  a newfound exoplanet announced in the journal Nature, and discovered by a member of the Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), offers scientists one of the best chances to truly know an extraterrestrial planet. Called GJ 1132b, it crosses the face of a nearby red dwarf star only 40 light-years away. These so-called transits — mini-eclipses, really — have allowed researchers to gauge GJ 1132b's size as just 1.2 times that of Earth. Other measurements have revealed it boasts a similar density to our rocky planet. All told, GJ 1132b is the closest transiting, Earth-size, rocky planet ever spotted.  Read more...



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